After nearly 100 years SF mortuary is alive and kicking

first_imgLocked away in the basement safe at the Duggan Welch funeral home on 17th street are old record books, some dating back to the days when the mortuary carried out funeral processions by horse and carriage. Steven Welch, the current owner, flipped through the pages. The earliest books are in his great-grandfather’s cursive. Later documents are in his grandmother’s handwriting and then his father’s and, finally, his own.After nearly 100 years in business — its centennial anniversary is officially next year — Duggan Welch Mortuary remains one of longest-enduring mortuaries on what once used to be a corridor of funeral homes. The records are a kind of family history, as well as a story of a changing San Francisco. Discharged from the military in 1900, Welch’s great-grandfather, William Duggan, found a regular gig driving a horse and carriage in San Francisco for Henrietta Hagan, the daughter of a funeral-parlor owner on Valencia Street. 0% Tags: valencia street Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%center_img Duggan and Hagan eventually married, and Duggan entered Hagan’s family trade, opening his own funeral home in 1918 at 1234 Valencia St., now Yoga Tree. Over the next couple of decades, the street would become a corridor for preparing the dead. A trolley ran down Valencia all the way to Daly City to transport funeral processions to cemeteries outside the city. The train cars had special compartments for placing caskets and flowers, making Valencia an ideal location for a mortuary. In the 1930s, the obituary section of the San Francisco Chronicle listed the Suhr and Wiebolt funeral home at 1465 Valencia St., near 26th; the mortuary of Barry and McDonald at 770 Valencia St.; St Anderson’s, on Valencia and 25th, and several others.Duggan purchased the funeral home’s current location in 1931. Before that, the building at the corner of Albion and 17th streets belonged to the Home Telephone company.In the early days, daily life at the funeral home had its peculiarities. A brick factory on San Jose Avenue had collapsed during the 1906 earthquake, and even in 1918 people were still chipping away at the mortar, trying to salvage the brick. According to family lore, the noise went on for years.Then there were the large, long-limbed greyhounds in the building’s backyard. William Duggan loved racing the dogs and owned several of them. One of them, Garyowen, won first honors at a 1923 race.Welch said that Duggan was known for taking the dogs onto the building’s flat roof, where they would play catch for exercise.Once, according to family legend, someone stole one of the dogs, and when Duggan figured out who it was, he took the man to court. Since both men claimed ownership of the greyhound, the judge had them stand on either end of the courthouse and released the dog to see whom it would run to.It came straight for Duggan.Duggan also became something of a local hero when he organized free funerals for two shipyard workers killed during the 1934 General Strike. He walked next to the carriage carrying the bodies as it meandered down Market Street, where residents gathered to protest the killings.The home eventually passed on to Duggan’s daughter, Leticia Welch, then to her son, and finally, to Steven Welch, Duggan’s great-grandchild, who is 53.The trolley stopped running sometime in the 1940s, and by the late 1980s, most of the funeral homes on Valencia Street were gone, bought by larger companies or closed because of competition, according to Welch. In those days, the obituary sections of the local newspapers often directed people to funeral homes outside of city limits.As a young boy, Welsh had little interest in the family business. His dad was always working, and his school friends made fun of the fact that the family used their van to transport dead people. It was only when he went off the college that he felt the urge to learn the trade and studied at the San Francisco College for Mortuary Science. Nowadays, the closest mortuary school is in Sacramento.Funeral homes across the Bay Area are run by other descendants of William and Henrietta Duggan, including Driscoll’s Valencia St. Serra Mortuary near 26th Street, and another in Daly City.As a child, Welch did not know his Daly City relatives. Now, in adulthood, he has met them. Still, he said, shrugging: They are competitors.The public assumes it’s an easy industry. “People say, ‘Oh you never run out of business,’” Welch said. But staying afloat has been hard at times. In the ’60s and ’70s, business slowed as many of the Irish and Italian families who had served as the funeral home’s primary customer base left the city. Today, the city’s traffic makes it hard for the limousines of a funeral procession to reach the cemeteries south of San Francisco. “When I was younger, there were many months when I didn’t get paid,” Welch said. “That was how it was.”Although business is better, most of Welch’s income comes from properties he has developed. He continues to run the funeral home out of love of the trade.Welch is unsure how they will commemorate the business’s 100-year anniversary. He is thinking there will be an event to thank the families, friends and other supporters.As for whether Duggan Welch Funeral Services will stay in the family, he’s unsure. He has two daughters, but he doesn’t want to pressure them to take over. His niece, however, recently joined his staff. last_img read more

Officials discuss officerinvolved shooting in the Castro with residents

first_img 0% Just after midnight on Nov. 1, two foot-patrol officers assigned to the Castro were alerted to a suspicious vehicle. A witness walked them to the vehicle, occupied by one person. One officer ordered the suspect out of the vehicle, and that’s when the suspect began shooting at both officers. One officer returned fire and struck the suspect. The suspect was detained and taken to the hospital to be treated for his injuries. Sesar Valadez, a 32-year-old Hispanic male from Hayward, California, has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, discharge of a firearm, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, possession of a firearm with an obliterated serial number, possession of a stolen vehicle, resisting arrest and an outstanding warrant in Alameda County. Sheehy said police had key witnesses who had not yet been interviewed. Other information is being withheld, including the names of the officers involved and the body-worn camera footage from the event.   SFPD Mission Station captain Gaetano Caltagirone reassured everyone in the room that he was doing everything he could to make people in the community feel safe. He is committed to increasing the number of foot patrols in the area covered by Mission Station, in the Castro specifically. “They want to be on the beat and that’s what you want — officers who want to be out there on the street,” Caltagirone said. “This way they get to know the people, the residents, the community and the bad guys.” People in the crowd clapped.Public comment was brief, and many stood up to thank the officers for the visibly increased presence of foot patrol officers in the Mission. “I wish we didn’t have another incident in the Castro on Halloween, but we did,” said a lifelong resident of the area. He ended the public comment by echoing the appreciation of the rest of the crowd: “keep up the good work,” he said. Some 50 residents attended Wednesday night’s town hall meeting in the Castro to hear from the officers and officials investigating the Halloween night officer-involved shooting at 18th and Diamond streets.“What we want to accomplish today is transparency for this investigation,” said District 8 Supervisor Jeff Sheehy. Officers lined the walls of the small room. At the head of the room were photos of the location of the shooting, the weapons used in the shooting and where the weapons were found. Captain Valerie Matthews of the SFPD major crimes division described the details.center_img Tags: police • police shooting • SFPD Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

The two sides are separated by just a point on the

first_imgThe two sides are separated by just a point on the league ladder and so the match is crucial for Keiron Cunningham’s men as they enter the busy Easter period.Saints beat Warrington last time they were at home whilst Huddersfield lost to Castleford on their travels at the weekend.Tickets for the clash are now on sale from the Ticket Office at the Totally Wicked Stadium, by calling 01744 455 052 or online here.The game will kick off at 8pm.last_img

CUE celebrates 23 years

first_img Today, more than 15,000 registered volunteers across the nation are involved.Caison said even with the organization’s success there is still work to be done for the future.“We’re excited because when you look back on 23 years you’ve seen really how far you’ve come. We have so many new programs, so many different things we’re doing to aid families of the missing that are left behind,” Caison said.Related Article: Black History: Chef Rhodes is making his mark on Wilmington one meal at a timeCUE has an event at the end of October to continue raising support for families of the missing and unsolved murders. WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — 23-years and counting, today the CUE Center for Missing Persons is celebrating their past success.Community united effort founded by Monica Caison started almost a quarter of a century ago with only seventy-six dollars.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Hope Charity Weekend kicks off

first_img Nearly 200 people attended the very first luncheon for the organization. All in hopes of raising money and awareness for a great cause.“When you’re going through struggles in your life and it doesn’t matter how much money you have, or lack of money that you have, when you’re diagnosed with that cancer it’s overwhelming,” Hope Abounds Director of Development, Penny Millis said. “Where do I go? What do I do? And Hope Abounds comes along side of them to provide that advocacy, navigating them through that journey.”The keynote speaker for this afternoon’s event was Stuart Stout, whose daughter’s final wish was to fulfill the wishes of 155 other children battling a life-threatening illness. His daughter’s wish was granted, click here to read more.Related Article: Rescue takes in blind horse, its BFF donkey from Florence flood zoneFor more on Hope Abounds’ events this weekend, click here. 00:00 00:00 html5: Video file not found spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Hope Abounds, an organization designed to help children, teens, and women battling cancer, kicked off a weekend full of hope today.Starting with a Champion of Hope Luncheon, emceed by our very own Randy Aldridge, honoring ten doctors in the medical field of oncology Friday morning.- Advertisement – last_img read more

Wilmington and New Hanover County considering lawsuit against opioid contributors

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Opioids are the leading cause of death for people under 50. That is why two local governments are joining forces against the opioid epidemic.New Hanover County and the City of Wilmington announced a partnership to fight against the epidemic. This could lead to legal action against those who contributed to the opioid epidemic which includes drug distributors.- Advertisement – “Things are happening and these are important steps that we’ve taken in our community. But taking legal action to make the perpetrators pay for the damage they’ve inflicted is necessary,” New Hanover Commissioner, Woody White said..White and Mayor Bill Saffo said Wilmington is ground zero for the crisis.“Wilmington has the highest opioid related abuse rate in the nation. In the entire nation. Almost 12 percent of our population according to one nation wide study,” Saffo said.Related Article: Woman wanted for reportedly making false report in hit-and-runWhite also said according to the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, opioid related deaths have increased by 73% in 10 years. In New Hanover county, the number of deaths doubled over the past decade.“New Hanover County is struggling with the toll that this opioid abuse is taking on our community, our public resources and and we must be proactive as we combat this epidemic,” White said.New Hanover County commissioners and Wilmington City Council will each consider a resolution, which includes filing a lawsuit, to take the necessary steps to beat this issue together.Commissioners will meet Monday to consider the resolution. City Council meets next Wednesday since the election is on Tuesday.last_img read more

Wreaths are up on the streets of Wilmington

first_img Getting the city in the holly jolly spirit take some time, which is why they do it so far in advance. While it might look like Christmas in Downtown Wilmington, it doesn’t quite feel like it. But when will it? Christmas wreaths are now up all around town as the Christmas season slowly approaches. (Photo: Basil John/ WWAY) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Tis the season. Just as you are getting over Halloween, Downtown Wilmington is preparing for Christmas with wreaths.It may not feel like the holiday season outside quite yet, but the city of Wilmington has already put Christmas wreaths downtown. The city puts them up each year on November 1.- Advertisement – last_img

Woman arrested for shooting gun in downtown Wilmington

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — A woman was arrested and charged Thursday after police say she shot a pellet gun at others and damaged a business.According to a Wilmington Police spokeswoman, police were flagged down at the Family Fare convenience store/Shell gas station at 502 N. 3rd St. around 2:10 p.m.- Advertisement – Officers learned that a woman, identified as Destiny Nobles, 25, pointed and shot a pellet gun at strangers after they insulted her. Police said she missed when shooting and hit a glass window of the business.Police said Nobles admitted to the crime. She was arrested and charged with discharging a firearm in city limits, going armed to the terror of the public, assault by pointing a gun, concealed carry without a permit and injury to real property. Nobles was placed under a $5,000 bond.last_img read more

Volunteers pack more than 100000 meals for hungry kids

first_img00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave Settings WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Imagine packing 100,000 meals in an hour. Hundreds of volunteers made it happen Thursday in an effort to make sure children in need in New Hanover County have healthy meals.“Now, we have to show up today, just sweat it out, wear these beautiful hairnets and set a record by packing 100,000 meals in an hour,” Steve McCrossan, NourishNC executive director, said.- Advertisement – It’s a rush for hundreds and thousands of kids.More than 500 employees with Live Oak Bank worked together to pack 100,000 lunches in just one hour at the Wilmington Convention Center thanks to NourishNC and the organization Pack Shack.For every 10,000 meals packed they rang a gong. McCrossan says it’s exciting to see so many people wanting to help.Related Article: United Way teams up with Nourish NC to feed federal workers“It’s great when you can have fun, dance, sing along, but also feed hungry children right here, where you know Live Oak is headquartered, and where we all live work and play,” McCrossan said. “It’s cool that we can have fun, but hunger and food insecurity aren’t a joke and we’re happy that they’re packing 100,000 meals today. And that gong means another 10,000 meals”Many of the workers enjoyed their time as well. KrisiAnn Jackson was happy she could help so many kids in the area.“We can make one meal make a difference for a little kid and his family then I feel like we’ve done a huge feet,” Jackson said.She think this should happen more often.“I would love to do this all the time,” Jackson said. “I think all of us would because it does make such a difference. I was just thinking about that, how an impact of one hour can make on a community. We would always be willing to offer up an hour of our time to do this.”They broke their target and made 106,500 meals! McCrossan says the food packed from this event will help feed kids all year long.last_img read more

CFPUA issues travel advisory at Wrightsville Ave near Dawson St for sewer

first_img CFPUA sent out a release about the work around 9 a.m. The utility said the travel advisory began immediately and was expected to last eight hours. There is no impact to the asphalt.Get real-time traffic updates from Operation GridlockCFPUA says the repair has been coordinated with Duke Progress to secure the power pole in the work zone.Related Article: Highway Patrol identifies driver killed in fiery FedEx crashDrivers are asked to use caution when driving in this location. Map of a CFPUA travel advisory issued for Wrightsville Ave. on Aug. 29, 2018. (Photo: CFPUA/Google Earth) WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Expect delays if you’re driving in the area of Wrightsville Ave. and Dawson St. in Wilmington today.CFPUA says its crews are doing a sewer main repair. CFPUA crews will shift the outer southbound lane to a single lane of travel at 2182 Wrightsville Ave., which is near Dawson St.- Advertisement – last_img read more